Islamabad, March 10, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took notice of the Badami Bagh incident that occurred in Lahore on 09-03-2013 and fixed the matter in the Court on 11-03-2013 and directed office to issue notices to Advocate General Punjab and IG Punjab to appear and put up comprehensive reports.
The action was taken on an office note initiated by the Registrar, Supreme Court of Pakistan based on press clippings of different newspapers containing the details of the incident that over 178 houses were burnt in a mob attack on 9.3.2013 in a predominantly Christian Colony in the Badami Bagh area over an alleged blasphemy incident. The violence began on 8.3.2013, when a man accused a Christian, Sawan Masih, of committing blasphemy by making offensive comments about the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and defiling pages of the holy Quran.
It was further reported that the mob comprising thousands of infuriated protesters attacked Joseph Colony on Noor Road in the Badami Bagh area and forced some 170 Christian families to flee the area. They ransacked the houses, looted the same, threw household items out, doused them with petrol and set fire to them. Furthermore, they also torched the houses of many such people who had nothing to do with the incident.
The attackers went on the rampage, setting on fire many houses, damaging vehicles and hurling stones at the police, however, the police did not take any action against the people who were damaging property and setting fire to it. The police initially tried to persuade them to clear the way for traffic, but the protesters turned violent and started hurling stones at them. Several policemen were injured in the heavy pelting of stones.
The police lobbed tear-gas shells and resorted to a baton-charge to disperse the mob. The protesters then retreated but only to regroup, targeting the houses of Christians. Some of the residents had already fled the area anticipating a backlash. The fire-fighters had to make hectic efforts for many hours to put out the fire. Many rescuers also received injuries while performing their duty.
The note further intimated that the incident is a serious threat to the life of people and further enormous loss of property has been occasioned to the property of minority community, which are serious violations of fundamental rights, guaranteed under Article 9, 14, 23 and 24 of the Constitution.
Taking notice of the incident the Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry passed the following order:-
“The matter be fixed in the Court on 11.3.2013 as a Constitution Petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. Notices be issued to the Advocate General and Inspector General of Police, Punjab to appear and put up comprehensive reports.”
For more information, contact:
Shahid Hussain Kamboyo
Public Relations Officer
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Tel: +9251 920 4184
Fax: +9251 920 1001